Hyderabad: Following Union government relaxations for cinema halls allowing 100 per cent occupancy from Monday, theatres in the city have started to make necessary arrangements in tune with fresh Covid guidelines.
Presently, the management of single screens and multiplexes which are screening movies with 50 per cent of occupancy are awaiting State government’s nod to issue tickets for full capacity.
On Sunday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has released guidelines regarding operating of cinema halls and permitted to operate as usual on 100 per cent seats from Monday.
However, theatres need to strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols like maintaining adequate physical distancing, mandatory use of face masks at all times and ensure availability of hand sanitizers, preferably in a touch-free mode, at entry and exit points of the halls.
According to Information and Broadcasting Ministry, thermal scanning is mandatory at the entry point of the theatres. “There will be some time gap between the two movie shows so that social distancing could be followed between the people entering and moving out of cinema halls,” it said.
Theatre owners here have welcomed the Centre’s decision and hope the State government will soon permit the halls to run with 100 per cent occupancy. Cinema halls across Hyderabad have opened on December 4 with 50 per cent of seating capacity.
Balgovind Raj, joint secretary of Telangana Film Chamber and owner of Sudarshan 35 MM and Devi 70 MM, said they will seek permission from State government. “We are expecting that necessary orders from the State government allowing us 100 per cent occupancy in the next two to three days,” he said.
According to him, films such as ‘Krack’, ‘RED’ and ‘Solo Brathuke So Better’ has started to bring crowds back to theatres. “Producers and distributors were happy to release the movies after the lockdown following the overwhelming response from audience,” he added.
M Vijender Reddy, secretary of Telangana Exhibitors Association said almost all the theatres are screening the movies. “Box office will revive completely by summer as big films like Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Vakeel Saab’, Chiranjeevi’s ‘Acharya’ and Venkatesh’s ‘Narappa’ are lined up for release in April and May,” he said.